In an exclusive conversation with CEO Insights, Niraj shares details on his expedition of being one of the successful Indian business leaders in Canada. Below are the excerpts.
Brief us on your educational background. What basic learning prompted your entrepreneurial skills?
Apart from having a Master’s degree in History, I completed a post-grad diploma in journalism and worked with Indian Express. Pursuing International Business Management from Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology, Canada helped me understand the finer aspects of starting and running a business. I recently got an opportunity to enroll myself in a few executive programs at Harvard Business School. From history to journalism and business, it has been a mixed yet rewarding journey.
Highlight unique skillsets and strengths that differentiate you from your peers in the industry.
With the varied educational experience, multifaceted work experience, and exposure to the global market, I have gained a diversified and multicultural outlook. These aspects helped me to conceptualize a multicultural marketing and advertising brand that works with globally reputed clients.
I have been a student as well as a teacher of international relations and taught at Rau’s IAS Academy, New Delhi for seven years and authored a book called “Beyond Borders” on foreign policy and global affairs. Understanding of the multicultural markets and immigrants has given me an edge over the peer leaders.
The learning curve and adaptability set me apart. We might not have all the strengths and skillsets to start a business or run it successfully, therefore, we have to consistently learn and adapt ourselves to the market trends.
Take us through your journey with Maple Diversity Communications so far.
While working for one of Canada’s largest telecom companies, I gained comprehensive knowledge of the multicultural market in Canada and observed that there were untapped areas in the multicultural marketing and advertising domain. This made me take the plunge with Maple Diversity to identify touchpoints and offer meaningful outreach to the clients.
The journey began in 2010. Today, Maple Diversity is recognized as the first-ever Canadian multicultural agency to be ranked as one of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies by PROFIT 500 and Canadian Business. In 2018, Maple Diversity ranked #79 nationwide. In 2019, the company was enlisted on the EMMA “Wall of Distinction” as one of the five most awarded agencies in multicultural marketing in North America. In 2020, Maple Diversity Communications ranked among Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies according to the Growth List released by Maclean’s/Canadians Business.
It has been a decade of a fabulous journey with clients viz., Cadbury, HSBC, Hershey’s, Nestle Canada, American Express, Fruit of the Loom, Glentel Inc, Royal Ontario Museum, Sony Canada, MEC, Humber College, Zee TV, PayPal, Brookfield Residential, Shoppers Drug Mart, Johnson & Johnson, Corby, and others.